Category Archives: neuroscience

Friends, Foxes and Flying Squirrels : and business doing the right thing

As I sit here in the just after midnight hours, listening to the foxes barking outside ( no doubt going through all of the bins and bags that they can get their teeth into ) my mind wanders to a couple of things that happened today.

One : continuing my wonder at how the mind works, I have been trying to remember the name of a girl I knew at Uni. A girl I spent a lot of time with – though by no stretch was she a ‘girl friend’. I couldn’t for the life of me remember. Then today, I was walking in a Northern UK Town and passed by someone who was so like said girl … I instantly remembered her name : Gill. How could I have forgotten her.

Second : Heather Clancy blogged about business’ leading role in making sustainability happen. She mentions Jonathon Lash’s three threads, but for just for today, I’ll take on the first one. I have something to say about the other two as you may guess.

It may not be the many and various governments but business, and I add, the population that may make the change.

The driver for both is money. I’d love to think that the driver is our will to make the world better for our children, to make sure that Polar bears live for another million years, and that Flying Squirrels don’t fall out of the sky from heat exhaustion, but I’m not that naive ( or optimistic about current human nature ).

I am concluding that the best way to make sure that rivers continue to flow, that the oil doesn’t flow in the wrong places and that the foxes still bark, is to point out how much money we waste and how much we can individually save by doing those things that just happen to help put the planet right.

I just hope that those who think this doesn’t apply to them, those who don’t care, or to who are too selfish to even think about it, start to understand.


Simpler times

Yes, I know that catching sight of your early teenage self at my age is not the most productive thing to do, but I was listening to Planet Rock on the radio and there came the strains of “Oh Well” by Fleetwood Mac.

I very quickly went back to hearing it for the first time. I was about 13 I guess, and I was playing with my big brother’s reel to reel tape machine ( btw, worth following the Delia Derbyshire link from Wikipedia …. great woman, and we owe her so much ).

I was in awe of it. It sounded terrible with the equipment to hand. The speaker was a very limited range single cone, probably not even reaching more than 6KHz, and the tape was, well, tape. But it was absolutely magic. Strong composition, strong lyrics, and pretty powerful when you’re trying to work out how the world works.

That’s probably why I shot back in time so quickly when I heard it again – I haven’t heard it for ages. Was ever life so much simpler then ?

I have to admit to doing that sort of thing a lot though. Music is a brilliant time machine. I can tell you when I bought certain CDs, or what I was doing when I was listening to particular bits of music. I wonder how that works.

I know I am not alone in doing this, but why should music cause such a strong reaction ? There has been research done on it ( This for instance ).

Damn, why didn’t someone invite me to The Music and Brain Forum at Stanford.

And the other thing. Why on earth did I get the tingles when Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds was on the radio yesterday !!! That response should be reserved for special music with special memories or tunes. I guess it must mean something to me after all. I wonder what associated trauma I have locked away forever !?